The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919 Cover Image
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In May 1915, Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire. Nearly 750,000 Italian troops were killed in savage, hopeless fighting on the stony hills north of Trieste and in the snows of the Dolomites. To maintain discipline, General Luigi Cadorna restored the Roman practice of decimation, executing random members of units that retreated or rebelled.

With elegance and pathos, historian Mark Thompson relates the saga of the Italian front, the nationalist frenzy and political intrigues that preceded the conflict, and the towering personalities of the statesmen, generals, and writers drawn into the heart of the chaos. A work of epic scale, The White War does full justice to the brutal and heart-wrenching war that inspired Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.

About the Author

Mark Thompson holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Cambridge. The author of Forging War and A Paper House, he lives in Oxford, England.

Praise For…

Max Hastings, New York Review of Books
“Mark Thompson, a young British writer, can claim a notable achievement with his narrative history of Italy?s World War I experience. With authority, sympathy, and unusual literary skill, he illuminates an aspect of the conflict about which some of us feel embarrassed to have known so little. The battlefield saga is sufficiently fascinating, but eclipsed by the portrait of Italy?s social and cultural experience within which the author sets it.... Thompson?s book gives a fascinating, indeed brilliant, portrait of a society immolated by its own delusions.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9780465020379
ISBN-10: 0465020372
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: October 26th, 2010
Pages: 488
Language: English